One in five people report going without needed medical care.

August 1, 2008

One in five people report going without needed medical care

The frequency with which Americans are having trouble getting access to necessary medical care is increasing sharply - and the problem's not limited to the uninsured. Last year, roughly one in five people said they went without needed care or delayed getting it, up from one in seven in 2003, according to a national probe by the Center for Studying Health System Change. Although insured Americans are three times more likely to get the services they need compared to the uninsured, those with coverage have experienced a 62 percent increase in unmet medical needs since 2003, vs. a 33 percent rise for the uninsured. The study attributes the spike to rising out-of-pocket costs and health insurers' reluctance to pay for certain treatments.